Inauguration Day begins with the president-elect attending services, often held at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House. The program continues on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for the swearing-in, followed by a parade that concludes at the White House. By evening, the president will attend various inaugural balls throughout the city. Now that you know how the new president will spend Inauguration Day, here’s how you can enjoy it. The Inauguration Anyone can show up on the National Mall to watch the inaugural swearing-in ceremony, generally broadcast on Jumbotrons. To get closer to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, contact your Senator or member of Congress, who distribute tickets through a lottery system. SWEARING-IN CEREMONY Traditionally, the chief justice of the Supreme Court administers the oath of office to the vice president before swearing-in the new commander-in-chief. INAUGURAL ADDRESS Once the swearing-in has concluded, the president delivers an inaugural address, a custom George Washington sparked in 1789. ENTERTAINMENT The ceremony often includes poetry and music – Beyoncé sang the national anthem at President Obama’s second inauguration. INAUGURAL PARADE After the inauguration ceremony, around 2:30 pm, the new U.S. president will embark on a procession from the Capitol to the White House. Line up along Pennsylvania Avenue for a glimpse of the parade, or try to win bleacher seats in the inaugural committee lottery. For more on the parade, read Along the Mall on page 24. Day-Of Tips WHAT TO WEAR Dress for cold weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. TAKE A BREAK Nearby Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art are free to enter and have cafeterias and restrooms. WHERE TO STAY Presidents-elect have stayed at The Hay- Adams and Willard InterContinental hotels. The recently reopened Watergate Hotel epitomizes luxury and the JW Marriott Washington, DC is conveniently located near the inaugural parade route. DC IS WALKABLE Walking is the best way to get around DC, even on Inauguration Day. In fact, presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson walked to the U. S. Capitol on their big day. DC's Metro system is another reliable transportation option, as the Federal Triangle stop brings you close to the inaugural parade route.
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